Final Box Office: ‘American Sniper’ Even Bigger, Hits $107.3M Over MLK Weekend

20 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘American Sniper’ sets records, but divides audiences.

Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper continued to outpace expectations on Monday — the official Martin Luther King Jr. holiday — grossing $17.8 million and putting its historic four-day debut at $107.3 million, instead of the projected $105.3 million.Bradley Cooper may have earned himself a Best Actor nomination for his role in the Clint Eastwood-directed American Sniper, but the actor who plays his baby gets no nominations because it’s not even an actor at all.

The Iraq war biopic “American Sniper” is a bona fide hit with moviegoers, but the film has also attracted critics who question its historical accuracy and whether it glorifies a killer.In a scene in the film, Bradley Cooper and his onscreen wife, Sienna Miller, can be seen passing the faux baby between one another, reports The Hollywood Reporter. American Sniper marks the biggest launch ever for a non-tentpole Hollywood title, as well as for a movie opening in January — much less an R-rated modern-day war film (the previous best for a drama was The Passion of the Christ with $83.8 million). Americans went in their droves to watch a film that US conservatives, and red state audiences in particular, have already claimed as their own. “Hollywood leftists,” wrote Sarah Palin on Facebook, “just realise the rest of America knows you’re not fit to shine Chris Kyle’s combat boots.” Clearly, patriotism has significantly contributed to the film’s success, and the presence of “American” in its title will have helped tremendously.

Eastwood, 84, and the actors try to lend the lifeless prop some hint of vitality, but it’s impossible to miss, and according to the website, the audience at a media screening laughed aloud at its obvious artificiality. And the film’s three-day haul of $89.5 million marks the No. 2 debut for an R-rated film after The Matrix: Reloaded ($91.8 million), not accounting for inflation.

He detailed his time fighting in Iraq in the best-selling autobiography “American Sniper.” He was awarded several commendations for his service, including two Silver Star Medals and five Bronze Star Medals. The Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow production, starring Bradley Cooper as real-life Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, benefited from a massive turnout in America’s heartland.

It began with travelogues boasting footage of the Niagara Falls (such as the 1896 opus American Falls from Incline Railroad), while 1903’s short silent movie Life of an American Fireman, made for the Edison Manufacturing Company, treated viewers to a woman and child being rescued from a burning building. Like, it’s hard to listen to the words the actors are saying because you’re just looking at the lifeless plastic lump in Cooper’s arms and wondering why they couldn’t afford to hire a real baby for this. To date, it has earned $25.4 million to date. “It is a cultural phenomenon and a perfect storm,” said Warners domestic distribution chief Dan Fellman. “If you would have told me we’d do these numbers, I would have replied that you were smoking something.

That came armed with the tagline “The Great American Picture of Today”, and in the last few decades titles such as American Graffiti, American Beauty and American Hustle have been used to make salient points about the US, with films often retitled to get the message across in the second it takes to notice a billboard. Over the weekend, Rogen tweeted that the film “kind of reminded” him of a particular scene from the 2009 film “Inglourious Basterds,” in which a Nazi propaganda film is shown. George Lucas’s original title for American Graffiti was Another Quiet Night in Modesto; Ridley Scott’s American Gangster was initially called Tru Blu; the American Pie screenplay was called East Great Falls High before the filmmakers opted to allude to both Don McLean’s song and the pie molested by Jason Biggs. “These films have underscored their role in interpreting and constituting ‘America’ by announcing themselves as titulary ‘American’,” writes Mandy Merck in her book America First: Naming The Nation In US Film, which traces it all back to 19th-century French historian Alexis de Tocqueville’s description of the country as “exceptional”. “Madness, beauty, graffiti, tragedy, romance, splendour and, of course, (apple) pie,” continues Merck, “all of these and many more have, at different historical moments and through the agency of filmmakers with widely various artistic, cultural and political agendas, found themselves rendered definitely ‘American’.” Whether these films celebrate or damn their own culture and history, they all trade on the country’s brand in true US fashion: loudly and proudly.

It performed well in every market, from the smallest town to the biggest cities.” Earning a coveted A+ CinemaScore in every category, Sniper galvanized moviegoers in both red states and blue states. Heading into the weekend, the film was expected to open in the $45 million to $50 million range as it unfurled nationwide in 3,555 theaters after a limited run over Christmas in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas (Kyle was from Texas).

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